Recently, one of our team members, Laura Fudge, attended the 2016 Canadian Society of Safety Engineering conference. Here is the first part of her account of the event.
This year marks the third year in a row I have attended the annual conference for the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, from September 18th to the 21st. As a supplier of employee monitoring and emergency response solutions through Telelink’s emergency response centre, I initially started attending the conference as a way of networking and gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges safety professionals faced with lone workers, drivers and mitigating losses during an emergency event. This year, there were several sessions that shared some great insights and lessons learned from some of the world’s most safety-focused organizations. It would be impossible for me to highlight everything I learned, but let me share a few tidbits that really hit home with me.
The BC Safety Authority, joined by one of their suppliers, Thinking Driver, presented a compelling case for a new, fresh approach to reduce vehicle incidents. The BC Safety Authority launched an initiative to combat their struggle with vehicle incidents in 2011. Throughout the session, we learned how a combination of management engagement, GPS technology, and group driver training played a key role in the success of the program. There were a few points that really stood out to me. Firstly, all employees, even the most senior leadership, took place in the driver training alongside frontline employees. This reiterates a trend we have seen with our own customers; companies who demonstrate a commitment to safety from the very top down see greater employee adoption.
The next point that resonated with me was their unique approach to the GPS system installed in their fleet vehicles. At Telelink, we often hear from companies, particularly those with unions, who get significant pushback from employees on vehicle monitoring systems because they perceive it as “big brother” trying to keep track of their whereabouts. To prevent this, the BC Safety Authority put a policy in place whereby supervisors required HR approval to look at the GPS data trail of an employee unless they received an alarm they suggested a potential vehicle incident. This policy demonstrated the commitment to employee safety and eliminated any privacy concerns the employees may have had.
Stay tuned for next week when I share my learnings from a session on Disaster Preparedness that tackled corporate response to earthquakes, tsunamis, and even volcanoes. Exciting stuff!